Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s fastest growing countries in the manufacturing sector, with 7.5% average growth every year. Currently, the manufacturing sector contributes roughly 10% to the nation’s GDP. It is growing at a rapid pace and is projected to reach USD XX billion by 2021 at a CAGR of XX%. Key factors in the growth of the manufacturing industry are the developed R&D facilities, government support, modern infrastructure and business-friendly regulations.
The government of Saudi Arabia is providing huge financial and administrative backing to the manufacturing sector. These include implementation of the required infrastructure, construction of new industrial cities like Jubail and Yanbu, the establishment of SIDF (Saudi Industrial Development Fund) and other incentives which help industrialization.
The government is now planning to invest nearly USD 70 billion in building six new economic cities with business supportive regulations and modern infrastructure. Their stronghold on the plastics and chemicals market adds to the ease of implementation of their plan.
Saudi Arabia still has a government led social and economic model in the manufacturing sector, providing administrative and infrastructural support. However, in the future, they will require a more market-based approach that is in-line with other modern economies. This is a big challenge, as the nation lacks innovation due to its relatively short experience in the sector as compared to other modern economies.
The recent slump in oil prices has shifted the focus to other sectors and manufacturing tops the list both in terms of potential and financial backing .This could turn out to be blessing in disguise for Saudi Arabia, as it shall give their largely oil-dependent economy an option for the future. Governmental backing, huge investments to push the manufacturing sector, and welcoming foreign direct investments bring opportunities for this sector in Saudi Arabia.
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